November 4, 2008

Celebrities and Narcissism

If, as I say, a narcissist is one who thinks of himself as the main character in a movie, then what about those who actually are the main characters in a movie?

An article written by Young and Pinsky-- yes, Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of Loveline and now Celebrity Rehab.

200 celebrities, as defined as famous people who appeared on Loveline, were given the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and compared to 200 MBA students.

Guess what?  Celebrities scored higher than MBA students.  Big surprise.

But some interesting findings:

Female celebrities scored higher on every component than males, but especially high on exhibitionism, superiority, and vanity.  (The other components are exploitativeness, authority, entitlement and self-sufficiency.)

Breaking the celebrities down according to "profession":

Reality TV stars had the highest scores, (most significantly in exploitativeness) followed by comedians and actors (close 3rd), then musicians.

The MBAs showed the opposite distribution: males were more narcissistic than females, especially entitlement and self-sufficiency.

NPI component.gif

For example, #10 "I can talk my way out of anything" is most heavily loaded for "exploitativeness" but negatively weighted for "exhibitionism."

Reminds me of a joke by Janeane Garafalo (from memory): you know, all actors in LA are the same, they're just waiting for your lips to stop moving so they can talk about themselves.... I guess it would help if I were paying attention, but they're just talking crap...